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Relationship with a Christian

  1. Apr 19, 2011 #1
    So I'm a physics student, obviously I don't believe in God or religion, and I can be pretty hostile towards it at times.

    I recently met a girl who I'm pretty into, but she's deeply christian. I plan on "telling her how I feel" tomorrow, but I'm just wondering... do you think a lasting relationship between a physicist and a christian is possible? I mean, we have completely incompatible world views... but does that really matter?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 19, 2011 #2


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    Probably, but you'll never know until you try it out.
  4. Apr 19, 2011 #3
    Well I definitely plan on trying (if she doesn't reject me, but I'm pretty sure she's into me too). What kind of issues could you imagine would come up?
  5. Apr 19, 2011 #4


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    She might expect you to convert. If she's a devout Christian, she will assume she is right and that you need to be saved.

    Someone that is "deeply christian" as you described wont rest until you are "saved".

    Either you give up what you believe or you give in. If she believed in a god, but didn't attend church, or not often, and didn't care that much, you'd be ok.

    Good luck.
  6. Apr 19, 2011 #5


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    ctrl + s ?
  7. Apr 19, 2011 #6


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    If she's a devout Christian, there's a high probability that that comes with a certain lifestyle and various beliefs. You can pretty much ask yourself what parts of her life might conflict with yours (children, marriage, church, family, political issues, etc). So basically the whole gambit of humanity. The real issue is what kind of person she is. She might demand you convert and have 10 kids and go to church every week or she might be totally cool with your lifestyle and not want kids or whatever. It totally depends on how her religious beliefs manifest themselves in her day to day life and in her conduct.
  8. Apr 19, 2011 #7
    Hmm... well maybe its good to be upfront about some things with her. Also there's a lot more to this that I'm not telling you guys lol... things are much weirder than her just being christian and me just being a physics student.
  9. Apr 20, 2011 #8
    If not, it would certainly be problematic to be a physicist and also a Christian :rolleyes:

    No, your core beliefs obviously don't matter at all in a relationship.
  10. Apr 20, 2011 #9


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    I don't think it's a good idea. Relationships are challenging enough between two people with the same core beliefs.
  11. Apr 20, 2011 #10
    I do know a former physics student in your position.

    I am not sure if he in was originally religous, but he became disillusioned with physics and gave it up, without qualifying, and is certainly now a christian.
    He is making a successful (paid) career in the voluntary sector.
    The relationship blossomed and he also married the girl in question who has become a doctor.
    As far as I can tell their relationship is pretty solid.

    go well
  12. Apr 20, 2011 #11


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    A physicist and a Christian? Probably doesn't matter since one is a job and the other is a religion. Most Christians have nothing against science - only Christian fundamentalists.

    An atheist and a Christian? Could be problems.

    She's deeply Christian and you're so deeply atheistic that you assume a physics student "obviously" wouldn't believe in God? There will definitely be problems.

    Especially if you have kids. What happens if she wants to brainwash the kids into being devout Christians? Wouldn't they grow up having the other math science students laugh at them? Wouldn't that completely rule out any possible career they would have in the math or sciences?

    Don't get into a relationship with someone who's beliefs you'll wind up ridiculing - it's humiliating to the other person and they'll develop some serious resentment towards you.
  13. Apr 20, 2011 #12

    Ivan Seeking

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    It is common for non-believer to marry believers. Whether your non-belief is science-based or otherwise is irrelevant. Don't be fooled by thinking a physics degree makes this situation unique. Also, faith and science are not mutually exclusive. That assumption is a falacy. There are plenty of religious scientists.

    My father never believed in God and my mother was very religious. They were married until the time of my father's death - over fifty years. In fact, I knew a number of families in similar situations. It was fairly common for moms but not dads to be members of the faithful. The only qualifier would be that there is religious, and then there is RELIGIOUS. If she is a fundamentalist/evangelical, then you would probably have a tough challenge in making that relationship work.

    It is also important to remember that many people go through periods of intense faith, esp when young, and later take a more moderate view.

    I would also suggest that you don't take advice from people with a personal bias against religion. By definition they are biased and can't offer a balanced view.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2011
  14. Apr 20, 2011 #13


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    Do tell!
  15. Apr 20, 2011 #14
    I thought about that, but at the same time I can see some value in two people with opposing views being together - we could possibly gain some perspective from each other and maybe grow in ways we otherwise would not have.

    Also she's definitely not hostile towards science, I actually met her at an observatory!

    Anyways I don't wana go way over-board analyzing things and thinking about hypothetical situations when I only met her two weeks ago - but I guess I just made this thread for some reassurance?

    @ Evo - I'll tell you more depending on how things go later today : )
  16. Apr 20, 2011 #15
    I don't have any bitterness. You just left yourself wide open for that - you have no one to blame but yourself.

    At any rate, there is little that I can say that IvanSeeking hasn't said better: almost anything can work, assuming that both parties can compromise. I remain uncomfortable that you seem to strongly be convinced that being a physicist is incompatible with being a Christian; one is a belief and one is a job.

    Its definitely possible ot make it work with her, if she's also willing to see things form your perspective on occasion. It is, however, fraught with its perils especially if you're both very young.
  17. Apr 20, 2011 #16
    Well things didn't work out. She shared my feelings, but said the bible tells her it's a sin to be with non-Christians and that it would lead to problems for her.

    Oh well...
  18. Apr 20, 2011 #17


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    I'm sorry to hear that, pergradus :frown:!
  19. Apr 20, 2011 #18
    It's OK. I'm not really hurt, just very disappointed, because I rarely get along with people and this was someone I met who I had a ten hour conversation with, and I know it will probably be years before I meet someone like that again.
  20. Apr 21, 2011 #19
    You're better off in the long run. I had a ~3 year relationship with someone who was a devout christian and looking back at it I now realize I made a big mistake by letting the relationship go on. Like your situation, we both had very different fundamental values and goals in life and there was just no way the relationship was going anywhere but both of us were just to stubborn to admit it. While we were going out, there were lots of other fish I met in that 3 year period I would loved to have pursued, and who knows, one of them could have been "the one".

    You're better off not being locked in a relationship that you know won't get anywhere as you never know when you might meet someone thats actual marriage material even if you have to wait another 5 years to meet them.
  21. Apr 21, 2011 #20
    "obviously I don't believe in God or religon"

    Does being a physics student "obviously" result in a lack of belief in religion? I am a physics student and although I would hardly call myself a devout christian, I do remain unsure to leaning towards belief in a God.
    One of my physics lecturers (the best I've had) is in fact a strong believer in Christianity.

    On the topic of your relationship - it is more than possible for a relationship to flourish between people of different faiths/ lack of faith.
    A relationship revolves around mutual respect and trust - if you respect her belief and she respects your lack of it then that respect is straight away a platform on which the rest of your relationship can be built!
    Good luck!:approve:
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